Set Realistic Expectations! – Revisited

You’re an aspiring author. Your ultimate goal is to find a great agent and get published. Who doesn’t want to be the author of that blockbuster book/movie of the year with a million-dollar payout?

Newbies have a tendency to set unrealistic expectations, and I can attest to this from personal experience. I’m not saying you won’t achieve your goal, but odds are, you’re going to have to start at the bottom and work your way up like the rest of us.

I’m not trying to discourage you. You can do this. I’m just trying to help you set realistic goals. I want you to be prepared not only for successes but the failures that you will most likely incur along the way.

There are some things you can and should be doing as you build your platform and prepare that first novel for publishing.

  1.  Get your life out of the way. You don’t have control over everything that goes on around you. We all have situations that arise. Don’t allow them to impede your daily writing time.
  2.  Find a trusted friend or spouse who will listen and respond intelligently. You need a cheerleader/an accountability partner.
  3. Until you become successful, write in one genre. Once you’ve achieved success, you can spread your wings and venture into different areas.
  4.  Don’t be picky about where you get published initially. Use your experience and publications to build on new ones. You will get there.
  5.  Learn what’s selling. You want to cater to your customers.
  6.  Develop tough skin. You will probably hear a lot of things you don’t want to hear. Everybody has an opinion. Let it roll off your back!
  7. If a bad review holds merit, adjust your writing and admit your mistakes. This is a learning process. You won’t get everything right the first time.
  8. Don’t give up! The number one characteristic of successful authors is as you probably guessed, they’re persistent. Don’t allow a bad review or hateful word to get in your way.

Some things to think about 🙂

-Jan R

Set Realistic Expectations! – Revisited

How Do You Eat an Elephant?

how-to-eat-elephant_thumb1I hope you all had a great New Year and are preparing yourselves for what awaits you in the upcoming year. Like many of you, I have a book I hope to have completely finished and submitted this year, but keep in mind it will take more than hope to get that book published.

I sat with my husband this past week and reviewed our goals and plans for the upcoming year, and what we needed to do for him to retire early. He’s an engineer who specializes in capital projects. He knows the importance of not just having a plan, but implementing it and moving forward to the ultimate goal preferably ahead of schedule.

He’s great at what he does, and as many of us do, brings his work home with him.  This can be a challenge at times because I for one am not as rigid and disciplined as he is. He is very detailed and motivated. He is results oriented.

I should be more like him. I’ve written several blogs on motivation and having an accountability partner. I’ve also written blogs on setting goals for yourself and working towards them.

One of the main things I have learned from my husband and from living life itself, is you have to set goals! You have too!!!! Put your dreams down on paper and break them down into steps. You can’t jump from point A to point Z, for most of us that thought would be overwhelming and stop us in our tracks.

You can move from point A to point B and then to point C and so forth. You will get there but take it one day at a time, working toward the objective you have set for that day.

I spent the majority of my professional career working with people who had profound developmental disabilities. They couldn’t even perform basic care skills like washing their hands. So what did me and my team do? We set objectives in place to lead to the ultimate goal. Just like I’m talking about in this blog. We broke the task down in to steps and worked toward the big picture. e.g.  Turn on water, place your hands under water, get soap, rub your hands together, rinse hands, turn water off, dry hands. Very basic but I think it gets the message across.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. I know I read this somewhere. I’m not that creative. Not sure where though. If you’re like me that unfinished novel is definitely the elephant in the room.

-Jan R

How Do You Eat an Elephant?